localization server

Using Drupal as a collaborative software translation tool

I've intended to announce this development at Drupalcon San Francisco but unfortunately the session on this was merged with a more general i18n session which was coupled by the ash cloud above Europe, so I could not go. Evidently, collaborative software translation is not a mainstream topic. On the other hand, I keep receiving requests of the general applicability of the tools Drupal.org uses about every two weeks, and this interest always amazes me. While the localization server tool used on localize.drupal.org grew out of needs of the Drupal community, the solutions were architected to be useful in a general purpose software translation environment. While the architecture was there, it was lacking useful UI controls to just run it as a generic software translation tool.

Existing non-Drupal users like the Gallery 2/3 project and the Musescore desktop app utilize custom data connector modules, which the localization server nicely supports, allowing for custom code to gather data for translation. Gallery even uses a custom Localization client port for clients to submit translations to the server, even though their software is not Drupal based. However, translating arbitrary software without writing your custom connector code was not possible earlier.

Presenting Drupal 7 and localize.drupal.org in Prague this weekend

Things been quite quiet lately here on my personal blog. This does not mean that my days were not action packed though. I was quiet due mainly to being busy with working on all the Drupal 7 usability exceptions and blogging directly on the localize.drupal.org news blog.


It is time to share the love and show these to more people around my region. So I'll go to Prague and show what Drupal 7 has on offer and how can people translate Drupal easier then ever before. With two sessions on the schedule, I'll be busy this weekend to show all the awesomeness going on these areas.

The Prague event still has 70 free (as in beer) seats open as of this writing, so it is not late to register! My colleague Robert Douglass will also be there to present sexy search and Acquia. There will be a pretty heavy Hungarian contingent going presenting about Druplash, Services and Amazon EC2 integration plus our Hungarian in honor, Kristof van Tomme presenting knowledge management integration in Open Atrium.

There are plenty reasons to come, so don't miss out!

Localize.drupal.org to come to life, so what about packaging?

Finally, the promise of a centralized localization interface for Drupal modules and themes looks to be coming true. I've started work on this project around two years ago under Google Summer of Code sponsorship and was continuing maintenance and improvements ever since. While I was spreading the word on it, not many people signed up to help clean up some possible performance problems, so it did not make into Drupal.org yet.

However, earlier this year I've got reviews from some key people in the infrastructure team, especially Gerhard Killesreiter, who persuaded me that setting this up is more important then it not being perfect yet. Software is evolving matter anyway, and we should improve as we see the problems. So I've started to set up localize.drupal.org. While we work out some of the kinks like single sign-on with drupal.org (one of the promises of the drupal.org redesign which will be delivered here), I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the implications.

Share every single translation you create with the community, without extra effort

I am way behind in blogging about DrupalCon Boston 2008, which was truly a blast. It was the biggest and best organized Drupal conference so far, and was put together in record time. I was happy to come early to Boston and stay a bit more with people who had their flights cancelled, and others who simply live in Boston to tourist around the city as well.

The conference provided lots of opportunities to be productive on-site in the BoFs and on the code sprint which followed the conference. Honestly, I intended to work on some of my core modifications for filters which (unfortunately) are still not in patch form, but without network connection for a considerable time, I needed to look into what I have on my computer, and figured I should work on the top priority contrib issue in my projects, as identified at the BoFs. Read on to find out more.

DrupalCon Boston session and BoFs

It looks like the list of sessions for DrupalCon Boston is finalized, so I am happy to announce, that we are going to have a Multilanguage Drupal: a status report and a discussion session, which is going to cover the current state of Drupal 6 and a short overview of contributed modules, and should end up in a vibrant discussion on where Drupal 7 is headed as far as language support goes. There is a huge interest in multilingual support with around 20 modules hosted on drupal.org already. Come and discuss where Drupal is heading, Drupal 7 is in need of hands to advance in this area.

While most of what Drupal core lacks is user entered content translation and localization, and the above session will focus on this, I also added a BoF suggestion which deals with (built-in) interface localization exclusively. Localization tools for Drupal teams and users is expected to focus on tools like l10n_client and l10n_server and related technologies.

In my working hours, I am busy with better support for WYSIWYG editors in Drupal 7 these days, so I am co-hosting a working group BoF with Doug Green titled WYSIWYG Working Group for 7.x core which should be a discussion of proposals on fixing current WYSIWYG integration problems and weaknesses.

At last but not least, Kristof Van Tomme is proposing Szeged, Hungary for DrupalCon Europe 2008, and he intends to hold a discussion BoF on this. The Drupal Association also intends to have a discussion meeting (not open for the public) on the next DrupalCon, so whether this BoF happens is still to be seen. In any case, I am one of the firm supporters of a DrupalCon in Szeged, and I am confident Kristof would be able to lead effectively to get it done in good quality. The easily digestable version of the proposal is up at Proposing Szeged, Hungary for Drupalcon Europe 2008 (look for the attached PDF).

And, well, honestly this is all just peanuts to what all DrupalCon Boston has to offer. So if you are still wondering, whether to go or not to go, make sure you reserve your place! It's a must.